Gallery: NPR Retracts Apple Factory Exposé But Many Horrific Truths Sti...


On Friday, NPR’s This American Life retracted its most popular episode ever (888,000 downloads): a stunning exposé of Apple’s employee abuses at Foxconn Technology, their supplier in Shenzen, China. The radio episode in question aired an excerpt from performance artist and monologuist Mike Daisey’s acclaimed one-man-show, “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” In the show and in interviews with Ira Glass, Daisey claimed to have witnessed or heard firsthand reports of human rights abuses at Foxconn. But when Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz revealed that in fact several details in Daisey’s account were falsified, TAL retracted their show, airing a new interview with Daisey, who after a great deal of hedging, admitted to several lies. However, he justified his actions in his blog, “My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge.”

Would you boycott Apple products to force them to raise labor & environmental protections?

  • 335 Votes YES - Labor abuse is unacceptable in the name of technological progress.
  • 133 Votes NO - Apple's foreign labor policies are no worse than those of any other electronics manufacturer.
  • 19 Votes NO - I don't support Apple's labor policies but I need my iPhone!

Total Voters: 487


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  1. ggourdin March 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Since it is already well know that Apple that is not the only company to use Foxconn or other Chinese companies with similar labor practices, your poll is substantially misleading. The question should be: Would you boycott the products of all electronics companies to force them to raise labor & environmental protections? I would really be interested in seeing the results of that poll.

  2. bb_mke March 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    The headline on this is a little misleading and unfair. NPR did broadcast the story (so it shares the blame), but the content was created and produced by This American Life, Chicago Public Radio and Public Radio International. NPR didn’t retract the story – TAL did. I mention this only because citing NPR in the headline (as so many publications have done) squarely places the blame on NPR. For people who believe funding NPR is frivolous, this is fuel for the fire. Since I love NPR (and TAL), I feel it’s important to keep the facts straight. Thanks for listening.

  3. meimei73 March 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I think that these manufacturing practices are widespread and shouldn’t just be pinned on Apple. Also, I do agree with David Pogue: For most of these people, the Foxconn factory job is far better than most alternatives. I absolutely believe we should give the workers a voice and put pressure on Apple and other companies to put more humane laws/practices into place.

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